Early Years FAQs

It’s normal to have lots of questions when starting a new school for the first time. Some of the most frequently asked question are below, but please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need any further information. We are always on hand to support parents as their child progresses through each stage of their education with us.

Early Year FAQ

How early do you start phonics and writing?

We begin phonics in Kindergarten and there is an element of phonics daily – these can be sounds and recognition. We look at blending in UK and Reception. We provide opportunities to write in Kindergarten – pencils, paper and other equipment is always available for pupils. They will start this journey when they are ready to take the next step.

Lower Kindergarten is about equipping pupils with the skills to be able to start writing and this can include developing their fine motor skills and learning to love all kinds of writing. We provide these opportunities to experiment with their writing either for purpose or for creativity throughout their school journey.

When should my child start reading?

Children start reading in Kindergarten with our phonics and reading schemes. Please do not worry if your child is not at the same level as their friends as at this early age all children develop at very different rates.

In Reception, children start to take home picture books to describe to their parents and make up their own stories. Once the children have learned their sounds and are confident at recognising them, reading books with words are sent home with word recognition sheets.

Do you offer before and after school care?

We have a Breakfast Club that currently runs from 7.30am each morning and an After-School Club that runs until 6pm. These are run by Braeside staff for children from 3 to 10 years.

For Breakfast Club drinks, breakfast cereals and toast are provided each morning. Children are given a range of activities after breakfast that engage them until the school day begins.

After School Club provides sandwiches and fruit every afternoon. Homework can be completed in a quiet area and there is a variety of activities on offer.

It is advisable to book into these clubs via the School Office, either on an occasional, regular or daily basis.

Will my child have a ‘key person’?

There is regular contact with your child’s Key Worker. Before your child joins Braeside, you will be invited into school to meet staff including the EYFS Coordinator and your child’s Key Worker. In addition they will spend some time with you finding out more about your child and giving you time to share information with us.

Once your child begins school, there are daily opportunities to meet and talk to the Key Worker and other members of the team. There are special parents’ meetings for specific discussion on how your child is progressing, and ‘getting to know you’ mornings when parents are invited into school for informal meetings with staff and other parents.

Where do I go for help and information?

Our staff will always be happy to discuss your child’s learning programme with you.  Timetables and information letters are sent home regularly to keep you informed about the topics and your child’s work. Evidence is kept in each child’s personal portfolio and they also have books and folders that you will be able to look at regularly.

We offer an information meeting for parents about tour phonics and mathematics programmes that we follow in school. This enables parents to support their children at home.

The Department for Education website contains further information about Early Years education and how you can support this at home: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2 

When is the best age to begin school?

All children are individuals and will be ready at different ages. We expect children to be out of nappies before starting school, unless there is a medical reason as to why this is not possible. We expect the children in our Kindergartens to attend full time to benefit from the full range of our educational programmes, so you need to be confident that your daughter is ready for that step.

In our experience we find that children enjoy learning through play and socialising with other children from an early age, so we recommend starting at any age from 3 upwards

Do you accept the Government Nursery Grant or Employment Tax Schemes?

Yes. We administer the Essex County Council Nursery Grant scheme on your behalf and apply the large discount to your termly fees. All children between the ages of 3 and 5 benefit.

Some companies provide their staff with Nursery Vouchers, which are a tax saving benefit for employees to use for nursery care.  Although we cannot administer this scheme for you, we are registered with multiple schemes and apply these discounts to your termly fees